Welcome to Languagestudy.com your ultimate resource for the study of foreign languages.
Study English (380 Million Native Speakers)
English is the most widely spoken language in the world and is the defacto language of business communication and the academic world. It is also an incredibly useful language even when traveling outside of English speaking countries because many fellow travelers and native inhabitants will also be able to speak English. In addition to this people fluent in English can find a great deal of work teaching English or writing in English. English is currently the worlds most culturally and economically useful choice for language study.
English is a Germanic Language that was created when the German Anglo-Saxon people settled in Britain during the 5th Century. Indeed the word English comes from Angeln, a place in Germany where the “Angles” as they were known originated from. The language has been further influenced by Norse settlers in the 9th Century and also by the Norman conquest of 11th Century which saw the French speaking Normans occupy the country. French became the dominant language of the ruling class until the 14th Century. This history is what gives English its varied structures which can sometimes cause difficulty in language study.
Study German (120 Million Native Speakers)
The most widely spoken first language in Europe, German is spoken in a variety of dialects in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. German is an important language in business, literature, science and especially philosophy. Whilst characterized as monotonous this is quite untrue with a huge variety in accents ranging from the harsh tones of the North to the almost lilting musical qualities of Austrian German.
Modern German is a relatively recent language that is still not spoken uniformly across the German speaking world. Hochdeutsch as this standardized German is known started as a written language between scholars though it is now known by virtually all German speakers due to media and education. The reason for the late standardization of German was the fact that the German speaking world was for many centuries made up of a collection of warring states with little impetus for linguistic standardization between them. Standard German only began to be spoken in the 19th Century.
Study French (115 Million Native Speakers)
French is the poetic language of the peoples living in France and South Belgium though due to the colonial age it is to be found all over the world, especially in Africa and also notably in Quebec, Canada. French is an important language for anyone traveling in these regions of Africa not to mention an important tongue in the study of literature, philosophy and politics. The cultural content available in the French language is something the French people pride themselves upon and the kind of thing which makes language study so rewarding.
As with all Romance languages the French language is an evolution, or distortion, of Latin. In the case of French it is likely the original language was a vulgar Latin dialect spoken by people in Northern France. This has mutated over the past 1500 years into modern day French.
Study Spanish (400 Million Native Speakers)
Spanish is another latin based dialect that has evolved into a completely separate language. That being said knowledge of one Romance language will give you a lot of vocabulary in one of the others. Spanish is the second most numerous native language in the world due to the spread of Spanish to Central and South America in the colonial period, this makes Spanish a fantastically useful language for a traveler.
The modern day Spanish language is sometimes called Castilian because it evolved from a particular dialect of central Spain, the area being called Castile. This linguistic tension amongst the Spanish dialects is still felt today in Spain with many regions retaining their own dialects in conversation. This is especially the case with Catalonia, the home of Barcelona.
Study Italian (85 Million Native Speakers)
Italian is the Romance language most closely related to the original Latin. It retains certain grammatical features whilst also having the vocabulary which is most alike. It is commonly thought of as a language of love with the nation being famous also for its artists, its renaissance philosophers and perhaps most of all, its food.
Study Chinese (1.3 Billion Native Speakers)
Chinese is the largest native language in the world and with the rise of China as the new superpower of the 21st century it is likely that the importance of the Chinese language will also increase vastly. When people refer to Chinese they often mean Mandarin Chinese which is the most widely spoken dialect of Chinese. Most dialects within China are mutually intelligible to some degree though, similar to German. The growth of standard Chinese is huge in China with many of those in rural areas speaking a different dialect conducting language study in order to procure employment in the cities.
As well as learning a new language Chinese involves the learning of a new pictographic alphabet, a form of writing which is elaborate and beautiful. The mastery of Chinese takes many years but it is considered to be a fine achievement in language study. The economic and business benefits that one would find in the next ten years may be large.
Study Japanese (127 Million Native Speakers)
Japanese is perhaps most widely known as the language of martial arts and it is through its Samurai traditions that most of us are familiar with it. However beyond this simplistic conception likes a language famous for its stark yet thought provoking poetry as well as its complex art-like calligraphy. Kanji is only one of the three alphabets utilized by Japanese speakers.
The Japanese language has assimilated various Chinese characters and words but it is not the same language family. Indeed, Japanese is something of a mystery to linguists with many theories on how this language family originated.
Study Korean (127 Million Native Speakers)
Korean, spoken in both the North and South is fast becoming an important economic language in Asia, with South Korea being a business hub of the region. The most fascinating aspect of Korean is its Hangul alphabet which is noticeably different to most Asian writing systems. It consists of two to five letters grouped into blocks, each letter represents one syllable. It is rated as a challenge so far as language study is concerned.
Study Arabic (320 Million Native Speakers)
Arabic is the passionate language of the Middle East and North Africa, but consists of multiple dialects many of which are unintelligible. The modern written form is based on the writings of the Quran and it is this written uniformity, entwined with religious identity, which keeps Arabic bound together as single language. The fractured dialects do make it difficult to choose which area to focus upon in your language study.
Arabic is a language that enables learners to get an insight to a completely different culture, one based intensely on religion and the values system that comes from it. Traveling in the Arabic world is a rich experience and any who experienced the hospitality of the region will not be fooled by the two dimensional portrayal of the Islamic world in modern western culture.